This motherhood thing sure is a roller coaster. Last week seemed like a busy one; it seemed like Baby Guy and I were out running errands every day (sometimes twice). He’s usually pretty good about being put in and out of his carseat now, and he pretty much keeps himself entertained. This is a real win, because any car trip used to involve me singing hymns at the top of my lungs and using stoplights to attempt to locate, grab, and reinsert his pacifier. Increased dexterity (his, not mine) and a pacifier tethering device on the seatbelt strap have made it possible for my son to put his own pacifier in at his leisure, and he plays with whatever toys I put in his seat with him pretty contentedly now.
We’re all signed up and paid up for swimming lessons in May (indoors, thank you very much), so I’m hoping that Baby Guy won’t flip out in the water and that he likes swimming (or at least being in water) more than I do. I’m also hoping that his swim diaper performs well, and I’m thankful (for this reason) that his poo is no longer liquid. I have this fear that we will cause the pool to shut down and have to leave our lessons in shame and ignominy after a catastrophic swim diaper failure.
Speaking of poo (as I so rarely do), formula poop is gross. It stinks. It’s sticky. Apparently, it’s acidic, too, because my poor little guy has the most horrific diaper rash. I’ve been working on it for days, and I’ve tried quite a few products and remedies. I’ve even had to switch to disposables for a few days, because I’m using so many ointments and creams that I’m afraid I’ll ruin my cloth diapers, even with disposable liners in place. I think our best success so far has been with letting him roll around with no diaper on for 20-30 minutes after a diaper change (which is not a risk-free undertaking), sitting him in a baking soda bath and adding baking soda to my wipes solution, and using copious amounts of Aquaphor. If it’s not a lot better by tomorrow, I will be calling the doctor, because I can’t take the rawness on his little bottom! Baby Guy, of course, doesn’t even act like it bothers him at all, even though it was even bleeding a little yesterday. He is an unreasonably happy baby.
Friday was our first day using 100% formula, and Baby Guy is taking it without complaint. In fact, if I don’t give it to him fast enough he has something to say about it. If you want my financial advice, I recommend you buy a formula company, because that stuff is pricey. We’re still unsure whether our insurance will help with it, and in the meantime we’re using samples and I’m trying to take advantage of coupons and sales to buy our supply. Let’s just say that half of my grocery bill this week was formula (and I only bought about enough for 3 days!). Oh well. Whatever it takes to heal up the boy!
Formula, though it is in some ways the bane of my existence, is making a positive difference. It seems like Baby Guy is feeling better. He’s spitting up less often, his intestinal symptoms seem better, and he’s sleeping like a brand new boy. On Friday night, oh that glorious Sabbath night, he slept for more than 9 hours straight! It was amazing! If I just fill him up before he goes to sleep, he seems to be able to rest better than he ever has. I am feeling better about taking him off breast milk because of the major differences that I’ve seen already, in this short period of time. It really seems like the best decision, even though it was such a difficult one. Also, I’m working on donating 200 ounces of breast milk to a milk bank in Kalamazoo, so I’m thrilled that it won’t go to waste! I should be done with that minimum by the end of the week, and then I can send it off to be used for babies that really need it.
In less happy news, Baby Guy has a cold. I think the worst of it is over, but the runny nose just won’t quit! And since he thinks that having his nose wiped is equivalent to receiving shots, it’s very exciting around here. Also, he has quit accepting avocado, so we’re back to zero solid foods that my little one will eat. I haven’t figured out what I’m going to try him on this week. I think I may have to rely on the peer pressure of his kindergarten classmates to get him to eat…only 5 more years, and he’ll be eating like a champ!
We’ve put the boy on a schedule now, so his nap times can be more predictable. He’s done really well with it, so far, and he’s falling asleep on his own at both nap and bedtimes beautifully! We did a little bit of sleep training last week, and he took to it quickly, which is good, because his parents are faint of heart, and not equipped for crying it out. We just instituted a 5-minute check schedule after we put him down, and now he’s usually asleep before (or right after) the first check. He hardly ever cries, just fusses or plays a little, and then drops to sleep wherever he happens to be. This feels like a huge victory in our lives, and I am blessed now with a lot more time in my day, since I don’t have to spend 20-30 minutes trying to convince him to sleep at each nap time.
The next big hurdle is to wean from the Zipadee-Zip. I’m hoping I can manage to screw up my courage to work on that soon. We’ll see.
It’s my first Mother’s Day as a mom, and though things haven’t necessarily been easy this week, there have been a lot of high points. I feel like we’re moving in a good direction with regard to Baby Guy’s health, which is the most important thing. I am so thankful to be a mom, and also for all the great moms in my life, whether they give me advice, let me cry on their shoulders, tell me to take the infant insert out of my carseat (because my baby is way too big for it and I somehow didn’t notice), listen and commiserate with my woes, or cuddle and love my baby and tell me how much he makes them miss the days that their kids were the same age. I’m also thankful for the great ladies who may not technically be moms, but who love my Baby Guy and also play important roles in the lives of other kids I love and care about; the teachers, church family members, and friends who care for and help lead kids (no matter who their parents are) to Jesus, and who have snuggled and loved my kid (and threatened to take him home, in some cases). Having been a childless teacher for many years, I know firsthand how deeply you give of yourself to children that don’t even really belong to you, and I count my son as blessed to have teachers and others in his life who will do the same for him.
Happy Mother’s Day!